OW Bunker CEO: I Don't Believe We'll be Sold This Year

Thursday July 4, 2013

Responding to speculation that bunker supplier OW Bunker could be sold, CEO Jim Pedersen has told Danish shipping news site ShippingWatch that if a sale happens, he does not think it will be this year.

"I don't believe we'll be sold this year," Pedersen said.

"If I had to make a guess right now, it could just as well be 2015 as 2014. It's become quite a large business, so it takes time."

Swedish private equity firm Altor Equity Partners (Altor) acquired OW Bunker in 2007 when its €1.15 billion ($1.5 billion) Altor Fund II investment vehicle bought the Wrist Group and its subsidiaries.

Speculation over the sale of the bunker company started in March when sources said to be familiar with the matter indicated financial services firm Morgan Stanley [NYSE:MS] had been hired to advise it on the sale.

Others have since speculated that a stock market listing is the likely course of action, with other Danish media today reporting that if the sale does end in an IFO for the WRIST Group they would be one of the biggest companies on the stock exchange in terms of revenue, overtaking both pharmaceuticals firm Novo Nordisk and brewing company Carlsberg.

Pedersen, while declining to speculate, admitted a stock market listing could be a possibility.

"There are strategic sales, partial sales, and an IPO way, so it's true that a stock listing is one of possibilities," he told ShippingWatch.

Ship & Bunker has previously calculated that, based on the 15 times profit valuation of New York listed World Fuel Services Corp. [NYSE:INT] (WFS), OW Bunker could be valued at around $675 million.